Under the Local Government and Governmental Employee Tort Immunity Act (the Act), public institutions such as Illinois government agencies, city governments, and recreational districts are immune from lawsuits. Historically, the purpose of the Act was to help the government operate efficiently without burdensome lawsuits. Generally, the Act protects public and government agencies from lawsuits stemming from negligence related to their operations.
However, several exceptions exist that waive the government’s immunity. Some exceptions are straight forward; however, some situations do not fall squarely within the enumerated exceptions. Moreover, the law imposes enhanced procedural requirements and damage caps on plaintiffs who file claims against the government in certain cases. Injury victims who wish to recover against a negligent city government agency or their employee must thoroughly and effectively gather and present evidence to support their lawsuits.
Lawsuits against the government often stem from injuries that the victim suffered on public property. Public property includes places such as city parking lots, city parks, public playgrounds, city buildings, public intersections, and city buses. In most cases, the law requires that the city does not act negligently; however, depending on the type of accident, the city may only have a duty not to act recklessly. Some common reasons people file lawsuits against the city stem from injuries related to city car and bus accidents, construction accidents, damages stemming from poorly lit streets or damaged sidewalks, and accidents at dangerous intersections.